Though North Korea’s nuclearization efforts have faded from the headlines, the country has continued to improve its capabilities and can now plausibly reach any location in the continental United States with a nuclear weapon. In the absence of a deal to curb its nuclear and missile programs, North Korea’s arsenal will only grow more lethal.

China-US tensions flared up because of an incident between US Coast Guard and an illegal chinese fishing fleet

Last month, a U.S. Coast Guard patrol vessel off the coast of Ecuador was forced to take evasive action when a Chinese fishing boat tried to ram it to avoid being boarded and inspected. The incident highlights the growing risk for conflict over fishing rights amid heightened geopolitical rivalry on the world’s oceans.

After a difficult year, it's worth sharing the bright spots in fields like climate change, the US military's new civilian casualties policy, and protests in Iran pro-democracy

Writing about human security and international law often means writing about the worst things in the world. With the holidays around the corner, it’s worth sharing a few stories that show how numerous strategies—including NGO activism and nonviolent protest movements—are making a positive difference for human security worldwide.

Congressmembers in the US speak about the threat of foreign interference and influence in national security and elections

In defending themselves from foreign interference, Western countries currently tend to look at all the tools used to pursue it in isolation. In order to effectively defend themselves, however, Western governments ought to see all the tools of foreign interference as elements of a strategic continuum, requiring a holistic response.

The US-Africa Summit 2022, where Biden attempted to repair relations with African leaders and update US foreign policy

U.S. President Joe Biden hosted 49 African leaders during this week’s U.S.-Africa Summit in an effort to improve ties damaged by the four tumultuous years of the Trump administration. Biden administration officials announced a raft of initiatives as a signal of Washington’s intent. But it is unlikely the summit alone will overcome lukewarm attitudes in African capitals toward Washington.

Nancy Pelosi has played a significant role in US foreign policy, including in China and Taiwan

When U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hands over the gavel next year, it will mark the end of an era in U.S. politics, with the greatest impact immediately visible on domestic policy. But Pelosi has also played a major role in foreign policy, deploying her political skills in pursuit of a mostly hawkish, internationalist worldview.

In Africa, conflict resolution around the Ethiopia war in Tigray is a sign of the new world

Even as both sides in Ethiopia implement the first steps of a peace accord, the impact of its civil war can be seen in regional and international responses to other conflicts in Africa. That could presage deep changes in how the West engages with African security issues, and the distribution of roles in addressing them.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Saudi King Salman sign an agreement to increase China-Saudi Arabia relations

Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Saudi Arabia last week for a four-day trip that included three summits in Riyadh with a range of Arab leaders. A bilateral strategic agreement signed by Riyadh and Beijing during Xi’s visit signals Saudi Arabia’s determination to diversify its partnerships and China’s growing role in the region.

Solar panels on a building in a city as an effort to mitigate climate change effects

Cities have emerged as key leaders in implementing climate solutions. But while transport and energy often get more attention, the construction and operation of buildings is typically a city’s highest source of emissions. It’s not surprising, then, that buildings have become a top priority for climate action for U.S. cities.

In Peru, as in countries like Brazil, Argentina, and the US, democracy survived the wills of hyper-presidentialism

Recent developments in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, the U.S. and Peru show that the guardrails of democracy can hold in the Americas. Institutions can restrain populist leaders who abuse their authority. Hyper-presidentialism, in which the executive can do whatever it pleases, is not guaranteed. Checks and balances can work.

Amid claims by some NATO allies that the US is benefitting from the war in Ukraine because of defense contracts, a soldier prepares Raytheon ammo

War is hell, but for large and politically influential defense contractors, it is also good business. This is fueling claims among some NATO allies that the U.S. is profiting from the war in Ukraine. There is no denying that U.S. defense contractors are benefiting, but accusations of war profiteering are simply off base.

President Joe Biden’s first priority upon taking office was to reassure U.S. allies of America’s ongoing security commitments, promising that “America is back.” Despite some missteps along the way, that effort has paid off during the current standoff with Russia over Ukraine. But Biden still has a lot of work to do when it comes to shoring up America’s security partnerships to deal with a rising China.

Amid an energy crisis, the EU and US have formed a partnership to supply gas to Europe

This past June marked a milestone in trans-Atlantic energy relations: For the first time, the European Union bought more natural gas from the United States than from Russia. In some ways, this was a positive development for both sides. The EU, however, is also discovering that the U.S. is a strange energy superpower to partner with.

Trump's bid for re-election has the same air as the comebacks seen in Latin America, like those of Colombia's Uribe and Chile's Bachelet

Whether driven by the desire to secure his legacy, avoid prosecution or stroke his ego, Donald Trump’s reelection bid is a move that will be familiar to observers in Latin America, where ex-presidents often seek a return to office. The lesson from these campaigns is clear: They seldom end well and often undermine democracy.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador speaks during his daily press conference.

The election of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, or AMLO, in July 2018 was supposed to result in a radical transformation for Mexico. But since taking office in December 2018, AMLO has struggled to deliver on his campaign promises. After having to play catchup during his first two years in office to Donald Trump’s quixotic threats linking trade and immigration, he has more recently had to reboot relations with the U.S. under President Joe Biden.

EU President Ursula von det Leyen with US President Joe Biden discussing the war in Ukraine and aid to Kyiv

Tensions over the war in Ukraine have relaxed since the U.S. midterm congressional elections but could ramp up again if Europe continues to fall behind the U.S. when it comes to providing financial and military support for Kyiv. Europe cannot afford a rift on this issue while Ukraine’s–and its own—security is on the line.

US President Joe Biden and France's President, Emmanuel Macron, discussing US-France Relations and Trade with Europe

French President Emmanuel Macron is in Washington this week for an official state visit to the United States. While the visit comes at a pivotal moment in the bilateral relationship, many European observers are paying attention to the areas of divergence over issues related to trade and Western unity as the war in Ukraine drags on.